Sunday, June 23, 2013

Perakians wish for a smooth opening of state assembly

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir taking the oath of office before the Regent of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah at Istana Iskandariah, Kuala Kangsar, last month

It is time to work together to build a more prosperous nation, says the Regent of Perak

THE pandemonium that broke out at the state assembly sitting on May 7, 2009 is not something that one can easily forget.

It was the first after Barisan Nasional took power following defections that had cost Pakatan the 11 month-old state government.

For six hours, Pakatan assemblymen were up to their antics, disrupting the assembly sitting. The chaos came to an end only after a royal rebuke of the Pakatan elected representatives.

Come Friday, the state assembly will sit for the first time after the recently-concluded 13th General Election.

In the election, BN was returned to power when it secured 31 of the 59 state seats, enabling the coalition to form the state government.

All 59 assemblymen will be sworn-in during the sitting. A speaker will also be appointed and sworn-in on that day.

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No one knows what will transpire then, but I am certain the majority of Perakians are keeping their fingers crossed for a trouble-free ceremony.

Last month, the 28 Pakatan assemblymen had boycotted the swearing-in of Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir before Regent of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah at Istana Iskandariah, Kuala Kangsar.

An opposition lawmaker had said then that all 28 Pakatan assemblymen did not go for the ceremony because they did not recognise the results of the election, especially the results for the Perak state seats.

Another questioned why the June 28 sitting would only be for a day.

He went as far as to accuse the BN state government of being fearful of debating with the opposition.

However, this very lawmaker forgot that the first sitting Pakatan had when it came into power back in 2008 lasted only several hours.

The April 25, 2008, sitting started only at 3pm for the then assemblymen to be sworn-in. It also witnessed the swearing-in of a speaker and deputy speaker.

Political analyst Dr P. Sivamurugan was right when he said that Pakatan assemblymen boycotted whatever was related to BN. Double standards, he said, would reflect only on their interest.

He said if the Pakatan assemblymen decided to be sworn-in too, they must uphold the integrity of the state assembly.

"For those who still want to prolong and set another drama, they must remember that they were chosen by the voters not to become political actors who can make headlines, but rather to represent them at the state assembly."

Like it or not, all assemblymen should respect the assembly and use the sitting for the good of the people and not turn it into a circus. The sanctity of the state assembly had been stained before this.

All assemblymen should respect the royal household and heed Raja Nazrin's recent advice to them.

While congratulating all the elected representatives who were voted in, Raja Nazrin had said that the election, which had proceeded peacefully, had given a victory to all who had succeeded in displaying maturity that enabled the process of democracy to be carried out.

"Throughout the campaigning period, those who contested made numerous efforts to get the voters' support. There may have been words uttered or actions that had offended one another.

"Now that the election is over, and in line with Islamic teachings which require mankind to build a spirit of brotherhood, it is best we forgive one another.

"From today onwards, let us strive together to build a more prosperous nation," he said.

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